Transparency into where foods come from has always been top of mind for me. It was exciting to see so many ingredients within the tour sourced from local farms. The whole trend of farm to table and farm to bar brings a whole new perspective on fresh flavors and how we can incorporate them into our everyday. Part four of our Dessert Tour covers local ingredients. In this report, we will take a look at the trend in general, and then discuss how we saw it in action from French pastry shops to chocolate shops and trendy restaurants. Ready? Let’s go!
During our tour, we noticed five clear trends:
In the summer of 2005, four San Francisco women drew a circle with a 100-mile radius and the city at the center. Their mission: to buy, cook and eat only that from within that ‘food shed’. Thus the locavore movement was born. Sure, farmers’ markets and mom-and-pop shops have been around for decades, but consumers have come to expect and demand visibility into the foods stocked in their pantries. Though the locavore movement began with its focus primarily on food, it has evolved to be about much more than just edible goods. Today, true locavores strive only to wear, buy or even bank locally because they feel it bolsters their community, not just themselves. Indeed, local pride has emerged as one of the most important reasons for consumers to ‘go local’.
• Supports the local economy
• Fresher products is one of the key reasons that consumers purchase locally
• Lower prices are the #1 factor that may encourage increased local food purchases
• 53% of consumers purchase local foods weekly
• 100 miles is how the majority of consumers define local
New product introductions with a “local” or “locally” product description are definitely on the rise. Since 2009, there has been a 172% increase in ‘local’ new product introductions with food products accounting for 70% of all local products launched. The top five local food categories are desserts and ice cream, dairy, bakery, sauces and seasonings, and snacks. Alcoholic beverages, hot beverages, juice drinks, water, and other beverages (including beverage concentrates, beverage mixes, and meal replacements) comprise the leading local drinks categories.
Tillamook Oregon Raspberry Yogurt
This yogurt is made with sweet local Oregon raspberries.
Boulder Famous Sweet Cream Flavored Organic Ice Cream
This ice cream is made with is made with local farm fresh milk and cream.
Sierra Nevada Ovila Belgian Style Abbey Siason Ale
This beer is made with locally grown mandarin oranges.
Each bag of apple chips contains 4 locally grown apples.
These claims include not only products that have been made from local ingredients, but also include products that provide support to their local communities. For example, General Mills’ products now include a promotion on the product package that supports Outnumber Hunger. If the consumer enters the code on the package, General Mills will donate 55 cents to Feeding America—which secures 5 meals on behalf of local food banks. Another example includes Anheuser-Busch’s Keep America Beautiful project, which launched the “Do Good. Have Fun.” series, a program that will engage consumers coast-to-coast in community refreshment projects. Bud Light will bring people together all summer long for various hands-on projects in their local areas.
• Northwest Berry Trio at Shari’s Restaurant: locally grown marionberries, raspberries and blueberries make this pie pop with flavor. (These fresh Northwest grown berries are known for their vibrant flavors.)
• Pumpkin Cheesecake at Hot Chocolate: locally spiced pumpkin, graham crackers, toasted marshmallows, hot buttered rum, cranberry, rum raisin ice cream.
• Chicken and Waffles at the Boathouse Restaurant: sweet Belgian Waffle with local honey butter
• Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes at Anzu: local honey, Bellwether Farms ricotta cheese
• Petunia at Evan Street Station: bacon infused Jim Beam local apple cider and cream soda, and kapnick apple garnish
• Big Wood Grilled Tacos al Carbon Trio at Frontera Grill: grass fed skirt steak, Gunthorp chicken, pork, roasted poblano, guacamole, grilled knob onions and local shishito peppers
Food Network Kitchen Atlanta, a grab-and-go market, is now open at Terminal D in the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Serving up classic dishes with a local Georgia twist, this new venture from Food Network will feature a fresh selection of salads, soups, and cold and toasted sandwiches made with local and organic ingredients. The Kitchens have also utilized local products like jams, jellies and relishes. The market will also serve signature items like the Big Peach Ham and Brie sandwich made with local honey and thyme on an H&F Bread Co. ciabatta roll.
Visiting a variety of sweets shops in the city gave us the opportunity to see an array of items sourced with local ingredients. Almost all of the places that we stopped were using at least one ingredient sourced from a local farm.
Pastry creator and mastermind chef behind Mindy’s Hot Chocolate, Mindy Segal, specializes in contemporary American cuisine with a focus on quality, local ingredients and technique. According to Mindy, they incorporate local ingredients into their desserts by using, “What’s available or in season—or what feels like the season—is what I focus my pastry menu around. Often we preserve fruits in the high season, so then we can use them later on or in another season Some of the locally sourced items on the menu include:
• Hamburger: house-ground Slagel Farms beef, organic bacon and Carr Valley 4-year-aged cheddar, house-made pickle on a garlic-toasted sesame bun served with chips.
• Crab Cake: New England crab cake, Werp Farms’ Bibb lettuce, and house-made roasted giardiniera tartar sauce on a house buttered bun served with chips. Baked Tuesday and Friday.
Floriole’s menu changes daily based on the availability of the produce. According to their website, “Most produce, meats, dairy and cheeses are sourced directly from sustainable farms in the region.” Floriole also has a Sunday Supper Series with a menu that changes seasonally to reflect what they find at the local farmers’ markets. I’m looking forward to August 17th which is “An Ode to Sweet Corn” and features a seared flank steak, corn pudding and tomato-corn salad as the 2nd course.
Some of the locally sourced items on the menu include:
• Ricotta Toast: toasted Sourdough with Bellwether Farm Ricotta, toasted almonds and honey
• Yeasted Corn Bread: our first bread. Light like a sandwich bread, instead of the traditional “Southern cornbread” we’re all accustomed to. The natural sweetness of the Three Sisters Garden cornmeal is brought out by honey from Ellis Farms. Baked Tuesday and Friday.
Focusing on delicious artisan treats by using local and organic ingredients gives Katherine Anne a leg up and the ability to create unparalleled, intense flavors. In the store that is a chalkboard note thanking their suppliers
including Kilgus Farms, Hillside Orchards and May’s Honey Farms. Some of the locally sourced items on the menu include:
• Caramels: made with local wildflower honey and agave nectar.
• Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad: arugula, market strawberries, local goat cheese, fennel, almonds, candied coriander, balsamic vinaigrette
• Ham & Asparagus Sandwich: lemony market asparagus, ham, parmesan artichoke spread, arugula.
FONA CAN HELP!
Let FONA’s market insight and research experts translate these trends into product category ideas for your brand. They can help you with concept and flavor pipeline development, ideation, consumer studies and white space analysis to pinpoint opportunities in the market. Our flavor and product development experts are also at your service to help meet the labeling and flavor profile needs for your products to capitalize on this consumer trend. We understand how to mesh the complexities of flavor with your brand development, technical requirements and regulatory needs to deliver a complete taste solution. From concept to manufacturing, we’re here every step of the way. Contact our Sales Service Department at 630.578.8600 to request a flavor sample or visit www.fona.com.